Published on April 12th, 2012 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Lotus Might Be Sold…….Its Now ‘Proton Ride and Handling’……Not Lotus?
At the recent Proton Preve media preview we noticed that the infamous ‘Lotus Ride and Handling’ badge on the new car had been changed to ‘Proton Ride and Handling’. Was this the 1st phase of the slow departure of Lotus from Protons grip?
Lotus is on shaky ground as its comprehensive five-year product revival plan may be thrown out if rumors are true that Proton’s new owner DRB-Hicom might be selling Lotus to China’s Youngman car company. It’s believed that Proton is considering strategies for the sports car company.
To build an all-new model range, Lotus has been spending pre-arranged loan funds. The acquisition was completed several weeks ago but Lotus doesn’t have a solid financial plan yet but Group Lotus could be sold off to China’s Youngman. Youngman has been a Lotus importer in China since 2006. This company already makes its own “Engineered by Lotus” cars for sale in the region with the use of Proton running gear. Youngman doesn’t need convincing about the value of established European brands in growing markets. Youngman had submitted a bid for Saab after its demise in 2011.
Lotus’ future has become the hot topic since last week when the sponsorship deal between the Lotus F1 team (formerly Lotus-Renault) and Group Lotus was terminated and it became known that a five-year contract with Lotus’s owners was struck to continue using its name. This fueled rumors that private investment group Genii, the owner of the F1 team, may soon submit a bid for the car company. So far, the principal Gerard Lopez has made no disclosures about the plan.